Jason Goliath. Picture: Supplied

Some of Mzansi’s finest comedians will offer much-needed comic relief this week through the Kings and Queens of Comedy showcase in Pretoria and Durban. 

This comedy extravaganza will see comic giants from around South Africa entertaining audiences at the Durban ICC on Friday and the Sun Arena Time Square, Menlyn, on Saturday. 

The Pretoria line-up includes Riaad Moosa – who will be the MC – Alan Committie, Casper de Vries, Donovan Goliath, Gilli Apter, Hannes Brummer, Jason Goliath, Joey Rasdien, Khanyisa Bunu, Krijay Govender, Leeanda Reddy, Marc Lottering, Melt Sieberhagen, Shimmy Isaacs and Sifiso Nene, with a guest appearance by Morgan Beatbox.

The Durban line-up includes Darren Maule as MC, Annalakshmi, Arnotte Payne, Celeste Ntuli, Donovan Goliath, Glen Biderman-Pam, Jason Goliath, Rasdien, Bunu, Reddy, Logie Naidoo, Lottering, Moosa, Rory Petzer, Sagie Murugan and Nene, with a guest appearance by Beatbox.

Chatting to Tonight, one third of the comedy powerhouse,  Goliath and Goliath, Jason, said he was excited at the prospect of performing in Pretoria, rather than his all-time favourite city Durban. 

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“I love performing in Durban, but this time round, I’m looking forward to performing at that spectacular new Time Square Arena in Pretoria. I had been chatting to them while the venue was being built, excited as a performer about what it would mean for performance in Pretoria.

"So I also think this is a good test because comedy is difficult in a big venue. 

"It could be South Africa’s first premium comedy venue which is exciting.”  

Reflecting on his first performance on the Kings and Queens comedy stage, Goliath said he remembered how in love he was with the brand’s ability to attract comedy lovers from across all spectrums. 

“There were 10 acts in the line-up and it was a mammoth show in terms of its size. 

"What I loved about it, was compared with other comedy brands of the same size, it was the one big comedy brand that had a truly South African audience and offerings for everybody, across demographics. It’s the type of show where there’s a comedian for everyone,” Goliath said.

His performances, as a part of this show and outside of it, have spurred in him a comedy activism aimed at growing comedy in the country as a whole.  
“My mission has been to educate South Africans on the various genres comedy has. 

“A lot of people just see it as they find a comedian they like, and they expect all comedians to be that way, whereas I believe that people need to find their favourite genre. And that’s what I like about a show like this – it’s an education on comedy. 

“It allows you to find your favourite style of comedy, and comedian,” he said. 

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Education about comedy, he added, needed to also transcend to film and television, where the different styles and genres should be portrayed. 

He added, however, that it  wasn't something that could be communicated to people by "telling" them. Rather they had to be exposed frequently to comedy in all its colours. Comedy illiteracy, he said, stemmed from the fact that most South Africans did not have access to live stand-up comedy. And it’s shows like these and other work they do as Goliath and Goliath that aims to tackle this challenge head-on.

Goliath mentioned that this year Goliath and Goliath would be on a nationwide tour to smaller towns outside of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town in an effort to take comedy to the people. This, he said, would fulfil the need for performers to have additional audiences and stages to present their work.  Details of the shows will be released at a later stage.

Like any artist who has his or her favourite artist, Goliath said that with these two shows, he was looking forward to seeing Lottering keeping audiences in stitches. 

“From an artist's point of view, I’m still a massive Marc Lottering fan. I say that because when you’re in the industry, you start looking at it from a technical point of view. I don’t know a comedian who doesn’t watch Marc Lottering with that same awe that an audience member has. He is just so unique, relatable, translatable and brilliantly funny,“ he said. 

On why people should go to the Kings and Queens shows, Goliath said: “It’s an overdose. It’s for the avid comedy consumer, you’re getting more comedy per rand than at any show available in the country at the moment. There’s so many acts, all of them different and funny in their own way. 

“For those who’ve often felt ‘maybe comedy is not for me’, that’s who I think Kings and Queens of Comedy is for. It’s got some kind of funny for everyone’s funny bone.”

* Kings and Queens of Comedy will take place on Friday at the Durban ICC and Saturday at the Time Square Arena in Pretoria. Tickets are available from R200 and R185 respectively from Computicket.